Despite a bit of snow on the pitch Williams Lake rugby teams had the hot hands this past weekend at the Northern Interior Seven-A-Side High School Rugby Zone Championships.
Lakecity teams won gold medals in each division in the tournament, hosted in Williams Lake at both Columneetza secondary and Williams Lake secondary, including junior boys, junior girls, senior boys and senior girls.
On the girls’ side it was the Williams Lake Stags senior girls winning gold. Williams Lake secondary laid a 41-0 pounding on 100 Mile House’s Peter Skene Ogden Eagles in the gold-medal match.
Their junior counterparts also won gold. The Stags thumped Prince George’s Nechako Valley Secondary School 25-0 in the final.
Stags coach Morley Wilson said it was a complete team effort for both the senior and junior girls’ squads.
“All the girls played exceptionally well,” Wilson said. “I’m proud of how both of the girls’ teams conducted themselves. They took their roles on the team seriously and played their hearts out for each other.”
High try scorers were Sheridan Davis for the seniors and Emma Pfleiderer for the juniors.
Visiting teams on the girls side of the tournament included 100 Mile House, Smithers, Kelly Road secondary, Nechako Valley secondary and Prince George secondary. All of the girls games were played at Williams Lake Secondary School.
Meanwhile at Columneetza secondary junior and senior boys teams in the region were duking it out.
On the senior boy’s side it was the Williams Lake Stags battling back after a rough round robin Friday to make the final and beat Kelly Road Secondary School, 14-7, to win the championship.
The Stags started off its tournament with losses to Kelly Road Secondary School and Smithers before turning it around and going unbeaten the rest of the way. Cody Nunn, Brendan Nguyen and Trake Kulyk each had strong tournaments for the Stags.
The junior boys side also proved to be extremely competitive. Winning gold was Columneetza, followed closely behind by Williams Lake secondary in the silver spot.
The Cougars managed a 24-0 semifinal win over the Stags before moving on to beat Nechacko Valley secondary, 10-5, in the gold-medal game.
Smithers, who was right in the hunt for medal contention in both the junior and senior boys divisions, returned home prior to Saturday’s playoff rounds due to poor road conditions leaving the top three teams in the junior division to play each other.
The Cougars managed the best record with two wins and no losses while the Stags finished with one win and one loss.
“We were all disappointed that Smithers couldn’t stay but such are the conditions in the north,” said Cougars coach Todd Pritchard.
David Julius, coach of the Stags junior boys squad, added he was happy with the way his club played.
“All the WLSS junior boys played well and showed great sportsmanship,” Julius said.
Coaches added standout players in the tournament for the Stags were Cole Leclerc, Jon Navratil and Lucas Johnson and Orrin Watkinson and Jay Richards for the Cougars.